Grants & Service Projects

The Heart of the Matter – Rotary Community Service

People join the Rotary Club of Battle Creek for a variety of reasons…Many people join the club because they want the opportunity to perform service in their hometown.

Founded in 1915, the club’s first service project was the establishment of two funds: ”the Milk Fund and the Shoe Fund to provide for Battle Creek school students in need.” Soon, however, the club was committed to the war effort. Club members volunteered to help with the draft and draft registrations. Responding to the plan to develop Camp Custer, the club organized the first Liberty Bond drive. The Rotary Club of Battle Creek pledged $30,000 for Camp Custer construction.

Click here for a list of grants to local organizations from 2015-2016.

More historical highlights include:

1920: Built the Salvation Army building on St. Mary’s Lake as a camp for kids
1924: Established an educational fund for loans to graduates for higher education
1930: Children’s Christmas Party debuted
1935: Developed a program for bequests to support the educational fund
1937: Sponsored USO Programs
1943: Raised $500,000 in bonds for the war
1944: Raised $750,000 in additional funds for the war effort

Among the many community programs that Rotary supports are:

  • Annual Children’s Christmas Party
  • Battle Creek Bailey Park Pavilion
  • Binder Park Zoo
  • Charitable Union Winter Coat Distribution
  • CIR Auction
  • Foodbank of South Central Michigan
  • Global Citizens River Clean Up Project
  • Habitat for Humanity Building Projects
  • Longest Breakfast Table
  • Non-profit Mentoring Project
  • Salvation Army Bell Ringing
  • St. Thomas Episcopal Church Summer Breakfast Program

 Among the many international programs that Rotary supports today are:

  • Bio-Sand Water Filters for the Dominican Republic (Joint Project with District 6360)
  • Guatemala Water Project
  • India Cataract Clinic Project (Joint Project with District 6360)
  • MSU College of Osteopathic Medicine Medical Mission Trip to Peru
  • Paul Harris Fellows – funds Polio Plus and International Aid
  • Rain Water Harvest Project – Baroda, India, Joint Venture with Baroda Rotary Club
  • Rotary International/World Health Organization/Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Project to Eliminate Polio World Wide Through Vaccinations
  • Shelter Box Program
  • Rising Star Outreach Leprosy Care Project (Joint project with Rotary Clubs of Lansing and Madras Central India)

Recent grants* provided by Rotary are:

  • Battle Creek Community Foundation: Project Passion
  • Battle Creek Youth Orchestra
  • Binder Park Zoo African Safari “Jim Hazel” Tent
  • Calhoun Arts Council
  • Calhoun Christian School
  • Calhoun Community High School
  • Charitable Union
  • Children’s Defense Fund Freedom Schools
  • Family Enrichment Center
  • FIRST Robotics Team
  • Generation E
  • Girls on the Run
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • Kalamazoo HelpNow Fund
  • Lakeview High School
  • Music Center of South Central Michigan
  • SAFE Place
  • St. Thomas Episcopal Church
  • Sherman Lake Y-Camp Joint Venture with Lakeview High School
  • Women’s Co-op

Rotary has never sought publicity for the help it gives, but it has earned the thanks of countless residents for all of its good works. Each has been conducted in the spirit of service above self-interest. There is no question that Battle Creek is a far better place to live because of Rotary’s many years of devotion. There is also no question that this is the Heart of the Matter for many of its members. As a group, Rotarians love Battle Creek, continue to take pride in the area, and get much satisfaction in making our town a better place to live.

For information about the grant process, contact Cheryl Beard at

Grants are considered on a quarterly cycle with the following application deadlines: July 1, October 1, January 2 and April 1.

*Download the Grant Application here.